Plus Heat Community Outreach [Brixton Soup Kitchen]

PlusHeat 28 Mar 2018 blog

Our first of many community outreach programs! With the number of homeless people increasing by 15% over the past year, homelessness in the UK is reaching a crisis point.

Here is our brief guide to the rising homelessness figures Homeless Britain. 

Our Background

Living and growing up in South London, I have always been aware of the affect poverty and hard times can have on each and everyone of us. The struggle is definitely real! I believe that's something we can all relate to on one level or another. Over the past 5 years, on my daily commute to and from work, it hasn't taken much to notice the ever increasing homeless population; which leaves me with one obvious question, WHY?

After looking into the issue and connecting with people that genuinely care about helping and finding a solution, I became aware of the great work that the Brixton Soup Kitchen are doing. I met some outstanding people dedicating their life towards the cause and evidently, this organisation has become a vital pillar of the Brixton community, providing help and support, outreach and an essential safe haven for not just local residents, but anyone from anywhere in London, who finds themselves in need!

At Plus Heat, it's important to us that we help raise awareness for this great cause and give something back to the community. We decided to produced a short film outlining the work BSK are doing, the support they receive and why it is vital to support this movement.

 


Our Community Outreach


Our business is focused on providing stability to our customers by keeping their properties functioning all year round. We may provide emergency heating cover for homeowners, but we also wanted to provide some warmth for the homeless too!  We took time out of the business to reach out to the community in Brixton, speaking to individuals who have ended up homeless and provided them with sleeping bags and the ability to join a support network like the BSK.

Working on this project has allowed us to engage and relate with these 'everyday people'. Once you can relate, you understand that it's simply a bad decisions or a turn of unfortunate events that can lead anyone down this path. This is something that is no stranger to any of us, and in this time of economic turmoil, 1 in 3 families are a months pay away from homelessness. The need for support has never been so important, so our provision of sleeping equipment was just the start!

We visited the Brixton Soup Kitchen to see first hand the effect Solomon and his volunteers are having. While the kitchen has undeniably become a vital lifeline for the Brixton community, the scope of support the kitchen can provide is limited due to the lack of funding. With no clear consistent funding, Solomon cannot push his dream further. Our main goal of our first Community Outreach Project was to raise awareness for this great cause and hopefully incentivise others to act. The scope for help is limitless. If everyone, including us, plays their part, Solomon's dream can become reality!

The Need For Support


    • So far the kitchen is simply run on a donation basis. With no exact backing or regular support, the Kitchen can never reach the goals they want to achieve

    • In the video you can see Franco Manca providing free fresh pizza which happens on a voluntary basis every Monday. This is the one of the few regular donations they receive. It may seem small but believe me, its essential for BSK. The appreciation and laughter that takes place around the table whilst enjoying those pizzas is heartwarming. If others like Franco Manca provided the same support, the outreach would be phenomenal!

    • The need to increase soup kitchens to every major area in the UK. Homelessness is now such a vast problem, the need for this projects expansion has never been in such high demand!

    • The dramatic cuts to funding seen by councils has seen homelessness rising massively.  Since 2010 some councils have seen a reduction of 50% in funds. More than 60% of councils have said the lack of funding is preventing them from taking action. If the government will not act, then WE as a community have to act TOGETHER to change the UK for the better!

    • The recent council proposals and measures implemented to solve homelessness, simply show how out of touch the government are! Recently in Bournemouth, the council erected 'anti homeless' bench bars, to prevent rough sleeping.  It was the community who made noise and along with celebrity, Professor Green who took it into his own hands, literally, by bending the bars; this act eventually blew up on social media. Bournemouth council had no other option but to remove these bars.  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/bournemouth-anti-homeless-bench-bars-removed-professor-green-a8196526.html. This shows the power the wider community can have! Moreover, it shows how more and more people are starting to relate to the homeless and are trying to help!